KDE 4.2 Beta1 Out for Testing

Today, the KDE team invites interested testers and reviewers to give KDE 4.2.0-Beta1 a go. The release announcement lists some significant improvements. The purpose of this release is to get feedback from the community, preferably in the form of bugreports on the new bugs.kde.org bugtracker.
Beta1 offers critical features like the Eyes applet (an XEyes clone), but also a more streamlined user experience all over the workspace and applications.
With the KDE team being in bug fixing frenzy after the recent hard feature freeze, now is the time to help us smoothing the release for your pleasure starting in January.

So install KDE 4.2-Beta1 and help us make it rock.

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by anonymous (not verified)

ohoh. You are right. Sorry for this silly comment.


by furanku (not verified)

Sorry, if I ask again. I really appreciate the good work of the KDE devs!

The last time I asked for the Mac OS style menu bar, Aaron expected it to be fully ready for 4.2.

No, no progress. This is something that someone else is going to have to step up and fix.

A dock would be more interesting to me for a little eye-candy. Any progress on the OS X like Dock? Someone mentioned it some time ago but i forgot the name (not XQDE).

by xbullethammer (not verified)

The bespin style is bundled with some goodies like the xbar plasmoid. Put it on a panel and you have OSX menu bar working flawlessy!

And since this is OSS, why don't you just use that existing code?

by Sebastian (not verified)

But it works only with Bespin set as UI style...

by JC (not verified)

From what I can see in the changelog and on the screenshot, most of the missing features of kde 3.5.x are back in 4.2

That is excellent news. I'm using 4.1 but many tools and features are not present.

But I didn't see any info about some wireless manager/tools/plasma integrated in 4.2.

Anyway I will give it a try during this weekend.

Many thanks to the KDE team.

by Albert (not verified)

as Aaron Seigon wrote on his blog there are no networkmanager plasmoid for 4.2. Opensuse is giving one but for what I saw it's not working but showing the different wifi available.

by Morty (not verified)

But there will be a network manager avalibel for 4.2. It will not be a part of the official KDE 4.2 release, wich is nothin new since no KDE release ever have had a networkmanger. But it will be relesed as a 3rd party application, so no one needing the functionality will suffer.

by fabiank22 (not verified)

Cause I want to test this :D

by Kevin Kofler (not verified)

No, we're still working on getting it to build in Rawhide.

by Robin (not verified)

But what was the question? ;)

by ScorpKing (not verified)

So once again I start reading and then - Everywhere I look I see complaints about this and that and and and... From the developers point of view it must really suck sometimes. Well, look at it this way - while you go over to a friends house there will be a FOSS dev that will rather spend some time implementing something new, while you go away for a weekend there will be someone coding and testing a new idea that could make things a lot better for us users, while you spend time with your family there will be developers who drop everything to fix a major security hole, while you enjoy your undeserved sleep there will be someone staying up coding because just one person motivated him/her by saying thank you for all their sacrifices. What have you done lately for FOSS? If you are not happy why don't you rather shut up and fix it yourself? After all, you have the source code? Why don't you rather look at what has been done so far? Why TF do you not get off your @ss and do something about it? Why can't you see that these developers are the people who made it possible for us to have freedom of choice when it comes to software? Without them we will all be stuck with MS and everything that comes with it. Really guys, why can you not be gratefull that there are people out there doing what you don't feel like doing, not because they have to but because they want to? If you have a problem with FOSS do something about it. Learn programming or do something that can help. Don't break down the developers, that will only make them think twice next time when something needs to be fixed. Come on people, working together is what got Free Open Source Software where it is today. Ask yourself, as part of a community, what did you contribute today?

To all the KDE devs - Awesome job guys/ladies!! The progress on KDE4 so far is amazing and thank you so much for all the small and big sacrifices you always make for us. Keep it up :)

by xbullethammer (not verified)

Right man!

This is why the dot urgently needs the Digg-like rating for comments. :D

by R. J. (not verified)

It's the me generation, where people only think about themselves, are rather rude and arrogant, and take take take, never stopping to think of other sand say thank you.

It's why it's important that when these people pop up, we make sure that those working on kde know that we are grateful for their work.

by frozen (not verified)

It's actually the gay generation. (Garsh, I'm lol... har har har...)

by ne... (not verified)

Amen Bro. @ss is really spealt @rse tho.

by ne... (not verified)

Bummer. s/spealt/spelt/

by Tormak (not verified)

Amen brother! Hey, Aaron and other KDE Dev's, KDE 4.1 totally rocks and I'm realy looking forward to 4.2. Fyi, I was a 3.5 user, went to gnome/ubuntu for a more clean and consistent look and now I've installed KDE 4.1 on all my systems (5 in total) and I'm back in KDE land. Still a little work to go on the consistent part, but KDE has come a long long way! I think the re-architecting has been well worth it. KDE 4.1 is so gorgeous, so slick, it's incredible. Thanks for all your hard work! Don't let the whiners get you down!

Cheers from Ottawa!

by Plumplum (not verified)

Well, bugs steal the time of users who expect things to just work. If the base is not solid how can you build upon?

by R. J. (not verified)

It's a beta, you have to expect bugs, file a bug report, instead of flooding dot with constant posts bitching.

Thank you gets you a lot more than moaning.

by TheLee (not verified)

So how do I install Google Gadgets as plasmoids (openSUSE 11.1 running 4.2 beta 1)?

by txf (not verified)

I suspect that opensuse beta packages aren't compiled with google gadgets support.
I installed the google gadgets qt libs and it still does not show up in the add widget dialog

Does anybody test it? It's a joke, isn't it?

Saw it too. But after having installed the necessary after a fresh installation, it had disappeared from the repo!!

I am using the SVN version from playground and it works like a charm. I know that openSuSE 11.1 is offering binary packages for it, but it runs a couple of days behind SVN.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to test it yet with WEP and WPA keys, but ethernet and wireless are working.

It takes some time to get used to as you have to configure the new wireless network first in systemsettings (automatically redirected from the plasmoid), but then you can easily connect to it.

Stable enough for daily usage :-)



by Fri13 (not verified)

It seems that many KDE3 users are still so negative against KDE4.

Mayby the reason is that they have not understanded that KDE4 is not KDE3 + Development = KDE4.

KDE4 is a new, fresh and new... (did I say a new?) Desktop technology...
It is not adding features for KDE3, it is building a totally new KDE. Thats why it toke so long time and KDE 4.0 was for developers only.

KDE 4.2 and 4.3 are there where normal users can actually adapt it and then wait that all the wanted features gets added to it. KDE team wanted to make fresh codebase for what base a future development without draggin a heavy and unmaintainted codebase all the time.

So, think that KDE4 is like a KDE1 and then you understand the amount of great work what they have got done. They just did not add a new fancy theme for "kicker" and few new themes etc... they build "everything" from ground to top... and more is coming.... just wait...

by Plumplum (not verified)

Nobody told them. And sure this was not the deal.

KDE 4 development took soooo long and progress on the KDE 3.5 platform was abandonned, also with regard to third party applications and when KDE4 was out it didn't have the essential features and was full of bugs. Now we are at 4.1 and still KDE4 is not ready for most users or a "technology preview". You run into a lot of bugs within 3 minutes including trivial glitches as missing Icons.

Do you expect users to wait another two years? They won't.

by txf (not verified)

the 3.0 users had to wait for it to become stable, how is the situation different this time around?

by frozen (not verified)

So it's just as bad as it was last time. Yup, I remember. However, saying that is not a solution. Whinners and greedy takers will abound. How do you protect yourself from them though?

I'll be the first one to walk away from a FOSS project that is incomplete and if it survives and improves, I'll have a look later. But KDE is bigger than just a piece of software. It's am ecosystem. If you kill an ecosystem, it will probably give out yelps of pain and shed tears. KDE4 might be a phoenix. It's just that the death and pain wasn't necessary. Programmers, myself included, are not well know for being good at communication. If KDE4 had stayed in BETA till now, 4.2 or maybe 4.3, the ecosystem would probably be a lot more healthy. You'd think that we'd have learned from 1 to 2 or 2 to 3. But no, we'll do it again and suffer the whinners and death of the n00bs in the ecosystem. Just when KDE4 reaches maturity, we'll kill it off with, "KDE5, the latest greatest DE for all your computing needs." TM.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

No, I'm afraid that hadn't we released, the ecosystem would have been much, much worse of. For one thing, without the KDE 4.0 release, application developers wouldn't have had a baseline to develop against. That would have lost us a year of application development. And without a release, volunteer developers disappear. We're facing that situation with KOffice now.

No -- despite all the "opinions" from outsiders, non-developers, non-contributors and anynomous cowards or cowards hiding behind a handle, releasing 4.0 and 4.1 was a good idea. 4.0 was a good and stable platform to develop against -- as advertised, 4.1 is a good and stable platform to use, and 4.2 is shaping up to be really good.

by Anders And (not verified)

You guys are very very defensive about criticism.
Just face it - from an end-user point view the 4.x series is lousy. 4.1 is certainly better than 4.0 but lots of things are still lacking - must irrating is the lack of consistancy in user interface. There do not to seem to be any guidelines to follow.
I dont even want to to into the new weird and user unfriendly way to list mails in kmail or why a enduser have to configure a "akonadi server" - what the heck is akonadi? (i'm enduser).
It just seems that KDE developers want to drive endusers to other enviroments - stop it.
More time is spent in making idiotic glossy/glassy themes - unconfigurable by the way - than improving on real usable features.
This is okay if thats your interest but i doubt that stuff should be a part of KDE.

Power to end-users!

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Do you really expect to be taken seriously if you adopt "Donald Duck" as a handle?

Especially if you make all kinds of statements you cannot back up -- have you, for instance, done any real, quantitative research into the proportion of time spent making things beautiful and time spent laying down the foundations for fundamental innovations? And compared that to the demand by end-users for pretty things compared to fundamental things, quantified by counting dot comments, for instance?

And what kind of a weird slogan is "power to end-users"? End users already have all the power they can possibly have without becoming contributors. Because. you know, someone who creates will always have more infuence than someone who merely quacks.

by frozen (not verified)

I didn't say it was a bad idea to release 4.0 and so on. However, if you read any prerelease literature (read: propaganda), from a user point of view, KDE 4 is a complete let down. That's why I said 4.0 and 4.1 and maybe even 4.2 should be labeled BETAs. 4.0 was not useable. 4.1 was flakey. 4.2 is shaping up. The 4.2 BETA is better than the 4.1 release. I thought 4.1 was supposed to be stable? But 4.2 BETA performs better and is more stable than 4.1. You get what I'm saying? It's just a communication thing to the (noob) users.

I've seen other projects release like this XYZ 3 BETA = xyz 2.989283. If 4.0 was considered a developers release, then don't advertise it to the users. And plenty of KDE devs have admitted there was a problem the way this was handled. I hope the people learn from this. FOSS is young. We can learn.

by frozen (not verified)

Oh and as for handles, look, I may be a European, but I'm certainly from a different culture. Before real programmers came along, there were aliases. I don't consider information privacy laws that nice that I want to go posting my real name all over the internet. How naive are you?

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

I'm asking this because I want to migrate my Eee (currently running Kubuntu Hardy) to 4.2. Obviously I can't really compile the thing on that, so I'm open to suggestions.

Kubuntu Intrepid and wait for packages to be released? (I think in a week or so we should have them)

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

Kubuntu disabled activities (although I assume their packages will be fairly vanilla), which I need (yes, I know about using shortcuts, but I can't add new ones), so I think it's not the best choice for me.

For Eee's and similar I would usually reccomned Mandriva, but I'm not sure if they priovid binaries for 4.2 beta yet. The announcmnet only list OpenSuse binaries, so you'll have to check on Mandrivas mirrors.

by Giovanni Masucci (not verified)

Opensuse 11.1rc1 supports eeepc 901/1000 and has packages for 4.2 (and should support also the other models) out of the box. Install it or wait 2 weeks (18th december) for the stable version. It also has a very better kde support than kubuntu.

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

I have in fact 11.1 RC1 installed now. Works great, although with a few quirks I am investigating (to see if it's my setup or not).

by Iuri Fiedoruk (not verified)

I've got another one:
after a plasma crash, and they happen often with 4.2 (in current version, I know it is a beta!), the plasma configuration icon that normally is on the right side of panel goes to left, same for the one in desktop!
The problem is that it occupies more than half of the k-menu, then you must click on the little space left to use it.
Locking plasmoids hide this icon, so you can use k-menu, but still a ugly bug.

To be honest, more and more I'm looking and testing another window managers and DEs. KDE4 apps in general are really nice (I love dolphin and krdc!), but the desktop (hello plasma!) is fat, full of bugs yet, and not worth the trouble if you just do not use plasmoids and like nice desktop effects.

And nowadays, using KDE3 is not a option anymore, since distros are dropping it :-(

by Luca Beltrame (not verified)

Please quote bug numbers if you mean "full of bugs". Most plasma crashes I had were on logout, and they don't happen anymore for me.

by Larx (not verified)

Well, I see his point. I have plasma crashes constantly, too. Mostly when logging out, but often at other points. I cannot reproduce them, but they are there, often enough to get on my nerves.

But what am I supposed to do? Report a bug that says "Plasma crashes and I don't know why?". I'll get flamed for that report, too. And besides, it's happening so often that I can't help thinking somebody else - e.g. the devs - should have noticed it already.

Besides - it might also be a buggy plasmoid taking the hole desktop with it. I don't know. Plamoids are all over the place, in different configurations, in fact, plasma without plasmoids makes no sense. (In future, this vision will indeed make KDE4 a great desktop, but now...)
This constructs simply leads to many not reproducable crashes. Something you can (and are supposed to) load down from the Internet and install without any hassle can make your whole desktop unusable. Seems not like a good idea to me.

I've watched many of those "internet and open source controversys". The complaints about KDE4 are one of the really longest lasting controversies. Not that I want to lecture, but maybe now would be the time to reconsider whether something has went wrong in
- communicating with the users
- setting priorities with coding
- integrating user's needs and wishes.
or whether all those complaints are really only from trolls or whiners.

I basically really like the vision of KDE4. But: I really do not like the actual state the project is in now. Not codewise - I mentally labelled KDE4, even 4.2, as a beta. My problem is rather with those three points mentioned above, which should IMHO be adressed.

by Anon (not verified)

"But what am I supposed to do? Report a bug that says "Plasma crashes and I don't know why?". I'll get flamed for that report, too"

I don't think I've ever seen someone get "flamed" for submitting a bug report with a valid backtrace.

by Karl Günter Wünsch (not verified)

Then please tell me - and the others here - how we could get a valid backtrace from plasma. I have it crashing every now and then but can't get a backtrace no matter what I try.

by Boudewijn Rempt (not verified)

Basically, we have sat down and discussed this, and there have been changes made in the way the project communicates. But that doesn't help at all. Right now, what you see happening is a classic pavlovian reaction: something gets posted on the dot, people restate their complaints, whether they are still valid or not. My own guess is that there is a small group of people who have such a low self-esteem that the only way they can boost it is by denigrating the work of others. Or they just have a really bad attitude.

Free software developers do listen to users: I love hearing from Krita users and will often drop whatever it is I am working on to fix a bug or implement a feature. But sometimes the wishes are so big (while still valid) that I cannot get something implemented in under a year of after-hours hacking; and then there will be complaints about slow development. And sometimes I decide to implement what I want to have myself first. Selfish, that's true, but the only way to keep motivated is to also do things you enjoy.

And, sure, communicating is important. But it's a two-way channel, and people need to listen. If the reason for something is explained already, it's no use demanding that something be done your way anyway. Having an opinion doesn't entitle anyone to have other people follow that opinion.

As a project, we cannot, want not and should not control the way our members communicate. We cannot forbid enthusiastic blogs about what developers are up to. So when people start working on something they are enthusiastic, elated: look what I'm going to do, they blog about it. And then when the first, incomplete installments of the results of that work are made available people attack them for not adhering to "promises" and demand apologies. And then those people go on complaining about those broken promises, and go on, and when the thing they are complaining about is given them, in a desperate attempt to make the complaining stop, they complain that the time spent giving them their wish wasn't spent making new stuff. It's not just people in the project who need to improve the way they communicate, the users need to improve their communicative habits, too. Jerome might think he's a professional user, but his way of expressing himself is far from professional: it is extremely childish.

And then developers burn out and start posting snide comments. Or get so tired they even add rude responses in bugzilla. So when a developer is rude at you, you need to consider the possibility that he's burned out over to many hassles. Burn-out is so common in the free software world that according to one research paper I read last year more than half of the free software developers have suffered from it. Don't contribute to it!

Bah, I've been way too wordy. Anyway, about your plasma crashes -- yes, sure, post a bug, if you can get a backtrace. t's a really well-known fact that software developers cannot find the crashes in their own applications, mostly because they follow one path through their code when testing, use their own software in one particular way -- and that means that you might be the first to see the crash and tell the developer. There's no developer who thinks crash bugs are a waste of their time. You don't have to know what causes it: the backtrace helps with that. And in the case of plasma, a list of all plasmoids will help, too, I'm sure. I

by Anon (not verified)

"Bah, I've been way too wordy"

Not at all; that was a great piece :)